With privacy concerns growing across the world, messaging app WhatsApp has decided to beef up its security by providing end-to-end encryption for any and all messages sent on the app to and from Android devices.
Jan Koum, co-founder of WhatsApp has been a strong supporter of increased privacy. Koum grew up behind the Iron Curtain in Ukraine at a time when the country was still a member of the Soviet Union, a regime that was notorious for human rights violations and widespread clandestine surveillance of its own citizens.Not Credited
Much like Apple’s new default encryption, WhatsApp will be unable to provide law enforcement any aid in message decryption. In essence, the app has decided to place the privacy of its users as its first priority, much to the chagrin of any law enforcement types that wanted to access a suspect’s chat history. Similar complaints have been raised against the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well.
Right now, the encryption is only present on messages sent to and from handsets running Google’s Android mobile operating system with the exception of media messages or group messages. The most recent version of WhatsApp features encryption on by default, obviating the need for users to set the feature manually.
Jan Koum, co-founder of WhatsApp has been a strong supporter of increased privacy. Koum grew up behind the Iron Curtain in Ukraine at a time when the country was still a member of the Soviet Union, a regime that was notorious for human rights violations and widespread clandestine surveillance of its own citizens.
WhatsApp may feature the most secure end-to-end encryption currently on the market. The iMessage system from Apple may be heavily encrypted, but the encrypted files are stored on remote servers that law enforcement officials can gain access to with a court order. Investigators would then have to crack the encryption themselves – a hard task without the encryption key, which only exists on iOS handsets – but not impossible. However, encryption through WhatsApp involves messages being sent to the recipient and encrypted right then and there – leaving no trace of the message on WhatsApp servers whatsoever.
The new system has been under development for around six months, according to industry insiders. While Android devices are the only ones that support the improved encryption, WhatsApp says it is planning to revamp its iOS app to provide encryption to iPhone users sometime in the near future as well.
This archive content was originally published November 18, 2014 (www.betawired.com)